Banh Cuon is a delightful Vietnamese dish consisting of delicate and thin rice flour rolls filled with savory ingredients. These steamed rice rolls are typically filled with seasoned ground pork, mushrooms, and aromatic herbs, offering a combination of flavors and textures that are both light and satisfying. In this article, we will guide you through an authentic Banh Cuon recipe, allowing you to create these delicious and versatile Vietnamese rice rolls in your own kitchen.
For the rice rolls:
1 cup rice flour
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray or oil for greasing
For the filling:
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup dried wood ear mushrooms, soaked and chopped
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Ground black pepper to taste
For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)
Fresh herbs (such as cilantro and mint)
Step 1: Prepare the rice roll batter
In a mixing bowl, whisk together rice flour, tapioca starch, water, and salt until you have a smooth batter. Let the batter rest for 20-30 minutes to allow it to settle.
Step 2: Cook the filling
In a pan, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until they become fragrant. Add the ground pork and cook until browned. Add the chopped mushrooms, fish sauce, soy sauce, and ground black pepper. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the flavors meld together. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 3: Cook the rice rolls
Grease a non-stick skillet or a flat steamer tray with cooking spray or oil. Place the skillet or tray over medium heat. Pour a ladleful of the rice batter onto the skillet or tray, tilting it in a circular motion to spread the batter into a thin layer. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the rice sheet is cooked and slightly translucent. Gently remove the rice sheet and place it on a plate.
Step 4: Assemble the Banh Cuon
Place a spoonful of the cooked filling onto one end of the rice sheet. Roll the rice sheet tightly, enclosing the filling. Repeat the process with the remaining rice sheets and filling.
Step 5: Make the dipping sauce
In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, minced garlic, and chopped chili pepper (if using) until the sugar is dissolved. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy
Arrange the Banh Cuon on a serving platter. Garnish with bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and fried shallots. Serve with the dipping sauce on the side. To enjoy, dip the Banh Cuon into the sauce and savor the delicate flavors and textures of these Vietnamese rice rolls.
Optional: Customization and Variations
Add cooked shrimp or sliced mushrooms to the filling for additional flavor and variety. Serve Banh Cuon with a side of Vietnamese sausage (Cha Lua) or grilled pork for a heartier meal. Experiment with different herbs and dipping sauces to suit your taste preferences.
With this authentic Banh Cuon recipe, you can create the delicate and delicious Vietnamese rice rolls in your own kitchen. The combination of the thin rice sheets, flavorful filling, and aromatic herbs creates a dish that is both light and satisfying. Whether enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or part of a larger Vietnamese meal, Banh Cuon offers a delightful culinary experience that will transport you to the streets of Vietnam. Explore the flavors and textures of Vietnamese cuisine and indulge in the delicate pleasure of Banh Cuon.